come as pre-tabbed wicks or by the spool (or yard). Pre-tabbed wicks
have a stiff wick and a silver base called a Tab. Wick tabs come in
many sizes, but the most common sizes are 15mm and 20mm. This measurement
is for the round disc base. The metal stem on the base is called the
Wick Collar (or neck). Collars also come in different lengths.
gel candles it is recommended that you use a wick tab with a collar
no less than 6mm long. All our wick tabs are 9mm. This is to stop the
candle burning when the flame reaches the bottom of your container.
A wick that continues to burn too close to the bottom of the glass container
will most likely heat the glass enough to break it. By using a longer
wick collar, your flame will extinguish before it gets too close to
the glass base. If you are making candles with sand or decorative items
please read Wick Stop Safety.
wicks are necessary for making votives and container candles (both paraffin
and gel). Spool wick is usually used for pillars and tapers.
you ever wondered what all those wick numbers mean? Wicks have from 1 to 5 numbers which actually have meaning even to the
beginning candlemaker. For example, we sell wicks with a series of 3
numbers and a "Z" at the end. Each wick will create a different flame
height, meltpool and rate of wax consumption.
first number tells
you the wick size. The size of the wick is determined by how many spools
of yarn were used to make the wick. The higher the number, the larger
the wick. Hence, the larger the meltpool (which can mean better fragrance
throw), and usually the higher the wax consumption.
second number indicates the speed at which the wick was sent through the braiding
machine. The higher the number, the faster the speed, the tighter the
braid. The tighter the braid, the less fuel consumption.
third number/ last number is a code for the temperature of the wax as the wick is fed through
the gears of the braiding machine.. This temperature varies according
to the previous numbers.
last letter is as follows:
. . . why so many different wick types?
types of wicks are:
braid cotton - This wick is most commonly used in tapers and pillars.
This wick type curls into the flame while burning which causes a self-trimming
effect and virtually eliminates carbon build-up (also known as mushrooming).
braid cotton - These braided wicks also curl in the flame. Because
they are more rounded and a bit more robust than the flat wicks, they
are preferred in beeswax applications and can help inhibit clogging
of the wick when there are higher levels of non-combustible material
(such as high pigment or fragrance). These wicks are used most frequently
in taper or pillar applications.
Wicks - Zinc, paper, cotton or hemp. The need for cored wicks arose
with the popularity of container candles and their need for a rigid
wick that would remain supported and centered in the hot melted wax.
These are also braided wicks with a cross section. They are used in
jar candles, gel, pillars and votives. (NOTE: Wicks used in votives,
jars and gels require a wick tab for keeping the wick centered and/or
fastened. The zinc, paper and cotton cored wicks were developed to take
the place of lead core wicks. The USA no longer permits lead core wicks
to be manufactured here.
Wicks - The American version of the "German Wick". HTP stands for
High Temperature Paper. This wick is wax coated and is a cotton flat
braid with a strand of paper braided into it for hotter burning. These
are a rigid wick and are also self-trimming, thus reducing the carbon
build-up common to the zinc core wicks. Used in jar candles, gels, votives
Wicks - i.e. fiberglass wicks, wicks used for citronella, tea lights,
oil lamps, and other applications.
wick should I use? This is the most common question we are asked. Understandably so considering
the goal of every candlemaker is to produce a slow and clean burning
candle with a great scent throw. In order to achieve this you must discover
the right wick with the right wax. Even the most experienced candlemaker
will tell you that the only way to definitively answer that question
is to TEST, TEST, TEST. You may want to try our Wick
Slab Test. The wick that works best in your candle may not work
so well in mine. Why?
different components in a candle which effect the burn quality of a
particular wick are:
of Candle (Container or Free-Standing)
type (Gel, paraffin, Beeswax, Soy/Vegetable, Palm, Liquid)
Color (Light or Dark)
wicks produce different results in each candle. The differences you should notice as you burn a candle are meltpool
size, flame height, and burn rate (the amount of time it takes a particular
wick to consume all the wax in the candle).
best to begin your observation with a non-fragranced and non-dyed candle.
In other words, only the wax and wick. The following considerations
are a starting point in your testing process. Once you have achieved
the safest and best burning candle, each time you change one ingredient,
you must re-test. Candlemaking is a science and requires extensive experimentation
in order to achieve a safe quality product.
of Candle - The first factor to consider is the diameter of your
candle. The relationship between the wick size and candle diameter will
affect the meltpool of your candle. A smaller diameter candle requires
a smaller wick while a larger diameter candle requires a larger wick,
and in some cases, multiple wicks. As you burn your test candle, observe
how much wax the candle consumes. Is it leaving a large portion of unmelted
wax around the parameter? Is it burning the entire diameter of the candle
and spilling over? (Not good if you're making a pillar candle ~ Great
if you're making a container candle!) Is the flame smoking? Does the
flame keep extinguishing?
flame keeps extinguishing, your wick is too small. If it is smoking,
it is too large? (I was observing a new wick size the other day and
made a candle with a #6 wick. That's a very large wick. I knew the wick
was too large, but wanted to observe it anyway, so I took the candle
home to observe the burning. My hubby wanted to know if I was trying
to burn the house down :-) The flame was almost 4" high, the smoke detector
alarm was going off, and I still didn't have a meltpool anywhere near
the size I wanted.)
way, I'm still trying to properly wick that candle. It is a heart shaped
pillar. Because of it's irregular shape and large size I've determined
I will have to triple wick it and probably need to use a lower meltpoint
of Wax - Gel burns at a hotter temperature than paraffin/wax, and
therefore requires a larger wick than a paraffin candle of the same
diameter. The same is true for Beeswax. Since Beeswax is a much harder
wax than paraffin, it usually requires a size larger wick. Soy/Vegetable
container wax has a low MP and will require a smaller wick than the
same size paraffin candle.
for paraffin can range from 120* to 165*. And the meltpoint can reach
230* with microcrystalline and additives. The meltpoint is the temperature
in which the wax melts. This usually requires a smaller wick, while
a high MP wax will require a larger wick. You must consider this while
still factoring the diameter of the candle.
NOTE: If you do not know the meltpoint of your wax you can determine it by
using this procedure: Completely melt your wax and then turn off the
heat. Using your thermometer, observe the temperature which the wax
begins to harden. This will help you determine the meltpoint.
the first 2 considerations: A 2" pillar candle using a paraffin wax
of 145* MP will usually require a smaller wick than a 2" pillar using
a 165* MP wax.
For a 3"
container candle - A 3" gel container is going to require a larger wick
than a 3" paraffin container. (NOTE: paraffin container candles usually
are best when made with a low MP wax i.e. 128* MP).
* Additives - Adding Vybar, Stearic, Crystals and other hardeners will effect
the wick size. Hardening the wax can cause the perfect wick to become
too small for the candle. Often you will need to move up a wick size
once adding a hardener.
of Candle - You must consider the type of candle you are making.
Votives are usually burned in a container and completely liquify when
burning. The same desired result is true with container candles. On
the other hand, pillars are a disaster if they totally liquify, or even
have such a large meltpool that the melted wax is flowing over the edges.
and Fragrance - Dye or fragrance can be a clogging culprit in your
candle. A clogged wick will not continue burning. Once you choose the
correct wick for your test with the wax and wick only, you will find
that once you add fragrance or dye, you may need to change the wick
size. Some fragrance is thicker than other fragrance, and thus a different
fragrance added to the same candle may require a different wick. Even
if it is the same flavor, but you bought it from a different supplier.
not use melted crayons to color your candle. This is sure to clog your
wick. Too much candle dye can also clog a wick.
candles you have to use gel-safe fragrance or embed frangranced wax
into the gel. For information on fragrance please go to About
writing this article, I came across Diane's Wick Testing Warning. I
thought it was worth posting here since we're discussing this very issue.
Here it is:
am cross posting which I never do because I want to make sure new people
read - this is one reason to test, test, test. Feel free to copy this
post to send to new candlemakers.
made candles years ago and have made them for the last two years. I
have tested various wicks..they has to fit your formula. I was having
some problems with my current wicks and had read about the Performa
on various egroup list. So I ordered some to try. I am looking for a
new votive wick. So I read the burn rates and decided to try the smallest
(60) Performa in my votives. My votives are very low mp designed to
liquefy and burn away completely.
***I ALWAYS (thank God) test burn my votives in a snug fitting holder.
Put that holder on a ceramic dish and put a hurricane glass over it.
Roomy enough for air flow. All for safety. I also test burn in the bathroom
or kitchen on ceramic countertops. This is how the test went:
Test burn 1...burn 4 hours. Flame was a little high to start with, not
self trimming like the LX wicks but overall it's looking good. Let candle
Test burn 2...trim wick to l/4 inch and lit votive. This is a beautiful
flame. Votives is burning nice ... burn time is going great. Burn it
about 6 hours and notice the whole thing is liquid so I blow it out.
Test burn 3...same votive. Trim wick. Begin burning. I'm loving this
flame...beautiful...great throw. So I keep checking it. Going great
over the hours. Wick doesn't need trimmed.
this time it is evening and I'm not thinking I need to hover over this
candle anymore. I'll let it keep burning to see what the final burn
hours are for the votive.
I'm watching TV and one of my cats (out of 10) keeps coming in the LR
staring at me. So I walk over to pet him. He wraps himself around my
legs and walks down the hall. Then comes back...wraps around and walks
back down the hall. So I follow him. I see flashes of light that are
brighter than they should be coming from the bathroom. Look inside and
the votive was on fire. Flaming fire! It was contained inside the container...remember
my safety rules. Otherwise my bathroom would have been in flames and
my Grandson was sleeping in the bedroom that backs that bathroom.
is why....test, test, test every time you change something. That flame
looked great all day, every day I burned it. Everything was beautiful.
If I had not burned that votive all the way down I would not have known
it could flash fire with my formula.
My hypothesis is that my formula is low temp...the wick burned hotter
so when it got down to the last 1/4 inch wax it overheated and caught
fire. I know it wasn't a flash from unmixed scent because of the way
I cook my formula. I burn one of every batch of candles I make all the
way down to see how the final flame is. If I had not tested this wick
in this way then I would have given this away and it would have happened
to one of my friends or children who are not as cautious as I am. I
always test like I think someone who doesn't know anything about candles
will burn their candle. They aren't going to trim it regularly or hover
over it. They are going to light it and walk away.
I want to stress there wasn't anything wrong with the wick. It was the
combination of wick and my formula was a bad fit. After further research
on these wicks I read on one information place that these wicks are
good for soy. If you only have a high temp wax to work with these might
be some wicks you want to try. I have some 140 I'm going to mix up and
see how they work. Just for the experimenting side of candlemaking :-)
Everyone have a great day! Diane in FL"
suggested uses for each size of wick on our Wick Page . This will give you a starting place for your wick testing.
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